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Old 01-10-08, 02:02 PM   #1
dwrudy
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seats and leg pain

I'm in the over 50 crowd and have taken up cycling on a regular basis again. Iíve been learning a lot about bikes and cycling, but still have a lot to learn.

I have a Giant OCR C2. Iíve been having some troubles with long climbs with pain in my legs on the inside and back of the thighs on the inside about at the level of the seat. This is not just the usual soreness in the quads that one gets when climbing.

The bike came with a Fizik Vitesse seat. It is usually very comfortable.Except for after a lot of climbing or a very long climb, I have no problems with pain or numbness in the seat area. The bike shop sized me for the bike and used the plumb bob method of lining up the outside of my knee cap with the middle of the pedal. In order to make this work out I had to get a zero offset seat post. Itís carbon. Iíve read about the seat on the net, apparently it was advertised as a unisex seat, now promoted as a womenís seat. However I do see on forums that some men are happy with it.

I canít tell if the pain Iím getting is from the seat being too wide, the position of the seat, my overall position on the bike, etc

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

David
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Old 01-10-08, 02:22 PM   #2
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Could be seat height- but if fitted by the shop- may not be this. Saddle I would not blame yet as it sounds as though it likes you- as you have not moaned about the butt pain.

Try getting out of the saddle on part of the climb- just to see if the pain gets worse or if it comes on later. And does the pain come anywhere else on the ride or is it only on hills?

Pics of you on the bike would help- in your normal riding position- but obviously stationary. Pics showing your leg with the cranks at lowest position and at 90deg will be necessary. Doesn't sound like a fit problem but may be.

Or it could be that the hill is too steep for you- Stop climbing the 25% ones for a while.
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Old 01-10-08, 03:22 PM   #3
dwrudy
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Thanks. I'll get some pics and post them.
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Old 01-10-08, 04:09 PM   #4
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My first thought was also that the seat might be too high. Typically pain behind the knee is from too much extension of th leg. If you ride with anyone else, ask them to ride behind you while you pedal at your normal cadence on a flat section of road. If they can see your hips rocking, it's a sure sign the seat is too high. I'm not sure the width of the seat would cause the problems you describe. My experience has been that a seat that's too wide causes the legs to rub against it, but this isn't what you're describing. Perhaps you'll get some additional input from others. Good luck.
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Old 01-10-08, 04:36 PM   #5
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Sound advises above.
- Seat could be too high: even if properly fitted by LBS, your body might not be ready for that position yet resulting in some stress in your leg muscles and tendons.
- Alternate standing and sitting positions: occasionally standing out of the saddle releases stress in bot legs and rear end.
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Old 01-10-08, 07:25 PM   #6
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Wish I could have found the piece by Keith Bontrager that I read the other day about why the knee over the center of the pedal thing is not necessarily how everyone should do it, but I couldn't. I did find this about bike fit, though, and looks like a good article on bike fit:
http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm
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Old 01-10-08, 07:35 PM   #7
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Wish I could have found the piece by Keith Bontrager that I read the other day about why the knee over the center of the pedal thing is not necessarily how everyone should do it, but I couldn't.
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/kops.html
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Old 01-14-08, 08:28 PM   #8
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Thanks to all for the advice. I went on a ride and the pain in the legs was the area that pushed back against the seat on climbs. I moved the seat down and back a bit and did a nice 51 mile ride in the beautiful rolling hills of Kentucky's Bluegrass region (where I live) and the legs felt much better. Iím wondering if a different seat design would be better for me?

David
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Old 01-15-08, 05:19 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by dwrudy View Post
Thanks to all for the advice. I went on a ride and the pain in the legs was the area that pushed back against the seat on climbs. I moved the seat down and back a bit and did a nice 51 mile ride in the beautiful rolling hills of Kentucky's Bluegrass region (where I live) and the legs felt much better. Iím wondering if a different seat design would be better for me?

David
Glad to hear there was improvement. 51 miles is nothing to sneer at, and if the legs felt better, maybe you should give the current setup a bit more time.
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Old 01-15-08, 11:45 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by dwrudy View Post
Thanks to all for the advice. I went on a ride and the pain in the legs was the area that pushed back against the seat on climbs. I moved the seat down and back a bit and did a nice 51 mile ride in the beautiful rolling hills of Kentucky's Bluegrass region (where I live) and the legs felt much better. Iím wondering if a different seat design would be better for me?

David
I was going to suggest moving the saddle down 5 mm and back maybe 2 mm, so I'm glad it helped!

I'm with LeVan, now you're doing better, so stick with what you have for maybe a few more rides at least to see if it stays good. When I lower the saddle I often find I want something just a skoche higher. It's a step by step process, in which you can't see the end point. You know not to make a next step based on whether things hurt or not.

If you're not feeling pain due to abrasion or chafing, I would not go for a narrower saddle. if you want to find a baseline for your butt, go to a Specialized dealer and get your rear end width (sit bone spacing) measured. If they have a saddle for you in stock, you might like it.

On my road bikes I like the Specialized Alias 143 and the Specialized Toupe 143.

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Old 01-15-08, 01:05 PM   #11
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Thanks. I took a look at the Specialized seats on the net and they look comfortable. We do have a Specialized dealer in town and if things don't work out getting the butt bones measured sounds like a good idea.

In the meantime, I will leave the seat alone. If I can get enough riding in between now and March, Iíd like to try my first Brevet, 200K. So, I need to be sure my bike fits well. I donít know much about Brevets, but there is a series in our state and Iíd like to see what I can do.

David
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Old 01-15-08, 02:21 PM   #12
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If you start on the route of finding the perfect saddle- Either be lucky- very lucky- or have a fat wallet. I would always give a saddle about 3 to 400 miles before giving up on it- initially you have to wear that saddle in- and the saddle has to wear your Butt in.

Several of us- me included- have had saddle problems. I had an excuse and it was medical- but suddenly I found a saddle that worked- One I had used for several years but tried again. Do not give up on a saddle that hurts just a bit- Until it draws Blood.
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